Friday, September 3, 2010

My Favorite Cats

I have always been a cat person. Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs, too, but cats are my favorite pets of all. I’ve had many cats over the years, but my first cat will always hold a special place in my heart.

When I was seven years old, my parents allowed us to have an indoor cat. I’m not sure where the little kitten came from, but she instantly became a part of our family. She was a solid white Persian cat with faint black markings on top of her head. This little bundle of white fluff was so cute and my siblings and I argued over what to name her. They wanted cutesy names like Snowball or Fluffy; I wanted something unusual. Because of the black markings on top of her head were in the shape of the letter V, I convinced my siblings the name Vee Vee was appropriate for our beloved cat. And Vee Vee she would be all through my childhood.

For those of you who have cats, you know a cat chooses her person, not the other way around. Vee Vee tolerated everyone in our family, but she loved me. She would sleep at the foot of my bed or lay on my stomach whenever I was reading.
She loved to sit on the divider between the living room and the hallway – a little half wall with spindles. She would sit very still and then swat at people with her paw, as they would walk down the hall.

Or she would hide in a corner and jump out at your ankles whenever you passed by.
Vee Vee was especially bad at Christmas time when she would try and climb the Christmas tree. In the early 1970s, most ornaments were glass and we lost quite a few ornaments because of her adventures with the tree.

By the time I was married, Vee Vee was over 10 years old and becoming slow with her old age. My brother and sister wanted a dog for a pet because Vee Vee was no longer fun to play with. I was unable to take Vee Vee with me and she was too pampered and set in her ways to start being an outdoor cat. So, Vee Vee went to live with a family friend for the remainder of her life, and she lived to the grand old age of 17. Although I’ve had many cats since that time, Vee Vee was the first and I will always remember her fondly. Rest in peace Vee Vee - 1969 – 1986.

Sassy, Queen of Sheba, came into our lives when I was going through a rough patch in my life. Pogo our beloved Siamese cat (she deserves a story all to herself) had been gone for almost six months and although we thought about getting another cat, we had not done anything about it yet. With my 39th birthday fast approaching, Keith decided this was the perfect time to find a new cat.

We first went to the Mercer County Humane Society and there were some really cute cats and kittens, but none of them seemed right. We left the shelter slightly bummed out, but still determined to find the right cat, so we headed to the Boyle County Humane Society to see what selection they had.

As soon as we entered the “cat room,” I saw her – the perfect cat for me. She looked so much like Pogo it was eerie, almost like Pogo come back to life. A gray Siamese with blue eyes and a raccoon striped tail, only she was skin and bones, not fat and fluffy like my Pogo. But as soon as this little cat stuck her paw between the cage bars, I was in love.

We were told she was found wandering the grounds of the Pioneer Playhouse and they weren't sure how old she was. When she had her adoption “operation,” the vet thought she was maybe five years old.

We brought Sassy home and within a few weeks, she was pudgy and perky and full of life. We got her a silver rhinestone collar because she was the Queen of Sheba after all, and she soon was the rule of the roost.

Although she loved my hubby the best, Sassy always knew she could come to me for a snackie-poo. She loved bits of cheese and the occasional potato chip, in addition to Arby's roast beef and popcorn. At times, she was really obnoxious if I tried to eat in front of the television, swatting my hand and trying to grab a bite.

We lost Sassy sooner than we would have like – she was only with us for seven years. We've had several cats since the loss of Pogo and then Sassy, but nothing will ever compare to my Siamese beauties. Rest in peace Sassy - 2001 – 2008.

We had a house fire last August and we lost our three house cats, so we have not been ready to bring another cat into the house. We seem to have many feral cats in our neighborhood and I have no idea where they come from. Christine does feed them, so they seem to stick around and I know we had a litter born this summer, because we could hear the tiny meows. I think it may be time to call the Mercer County Humane Society and have them trap these cats for the “Critters without Litters” program. I don’t mind having feral cats in the neighborhood because they keep the mice and vole population under control, but I don’t want the cats to multiple.